Pride & Respect through Cheer and Football

Ladder Agility Drills

Ladder agility drills are an excellent way to improve foot speed, agility, coordination and overall quickness.

They are an integral part of many SAQ programs and compliment many different sports and events.

Speed ladder drills are about quality and form rather than producing overload. The drills are not meant to leave you fatigued or breathless in the way that shuttle runs might, for example.

It is better to perform these drills at the start of a session after the warm up. Your muscles should be fresh to ensure good quality of movement. And because they will not leave you exhausted you can perform resistance or endurance training afterwards.

Important Tip: Print this page out and have it with you when you practise these ladder agility drills. It’s a good idea to have half a dozen dummy runs on each exercise before you begin to perform them at speed.

Here are some general guidelines for all the ladder agility drills below:

Push off from the balls of your feet (not the toes)

Pump your hands from shoulder height to hips (men) and from chest height to hips (women)

Keep your elbows at 90 degrees at all times

Keep your arms, shoulders and hands relaxed

Try to keep your head still as much as possible

Ladder Agility Drills

Start with your feet hip width apart at the bottom of the ladder

 

Hop Scotch Drill
This is one of the simplest ladder agility drills, even for those who are too old to remember playing hop scotch (or just won’t admit to it!).

Jump up with both feet and land on the left foot only in the first square

Immediately push off with your left foot and land with both feet in the second square

Immediately push off with both feet and land on your right foot only

Push off from your right foot and land on both feet.

Repeat this pattern for the full length of the ladder
Start with your feet hip width apart at the bottom of the ladder

 

In-Out Drill
Another basic drill to master but no less effective.

Step into the first square with your left foot first, immediately followed by your right foot

With your left foot step outside to the left the second square, then immediately step outside the second square with your right foot

Step back into the third square with your left foot first, followed by your right foot.

Repeat this pattern in fluid motion for the length of the ladder
Start with both feet outside of the first square and to the left

 

Lateral Feet Drill
The ladder agility drills from now on require more practise and greater coordination. Be sure to give yourself several dummy runs before attempting at speed.

Step into the first square with your left foot first, immediately followed by your right foot… in a 1-2 motion

Step to the right, outside the first square again with your left foot fist, followed by your right

Now step diagonally left into the second square, with the left foot leading always keeping the same 1-2 motion

Now step out to the left-hand side of the second square and repeat for the full length of the ladder

If you perform several sets of this drill start at different sides of the ladder so your lead foot changes each time
Start with both feet outside of the first square and to the left

 

Tango Drill
Named after the dance, when you perform this drill correctly you’ll see why. Or should it be the Foxtrot?

Cross your left leg over your right and into the centre of the first square. Your right leg should immediately follow to the right of the first square, followed by your left leg

It’s a 1-2-3 motion like you’re dancing

From here your right foot comes across your left and into the centre of the second square as the pattern is repeated in the opposite direction

Repeat for the full length of the ladder
Start with your feet hip width apart at the bottom of the ladder

 

Five Count Drill
This is the most difficult to master of these ladder agility drills and requires patience even for the most dexterous. When you can perform this exercise smoothly, with speed you’re ahead of most of the competition!

Step out to the right of the first square With your right foot immediately followed by placing your left foot into the first square

Bring your right foot along side your left in the first square then step into the second square with your left foot immediately followed by the right

Count these first five steps in a 1-2-3-4-5 manor

Reverse the sequence by stepping out to the right of the third square with your left foot

Repeat for the full length of the ladder